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'We fell into the Uruguayan trap': France stumble on 'false rhythm'

By Ned Lester
Paetao Mauvaka attempts to claim the ball for France. Photo by Christian Liewig - Corbis/Getty Images

Uruguay came out of the gates firing against France in their first match of the Rugby World Cup, coming within just a point of the lead in the 52nd minute before a Peato Mauvaka try assisted another fourth-quarter shutout to secure the win for Les Bleus.

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After conceding a try just 92 seconds into the Rugby World Cup’s opening game, France were first to get on the board in round two, with Malvyn Jaminet claiming three points in the third minute.

Two minutes later though, Uruguay scored in the corner. Los Teros had clearly identified the same weakness as the All Blacks, since the opening try was by way of a cross-field kick and scored in the left corner.

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“Their quick first try surprised us,” French flanker Sekou Macalou said after the match. “We found ourselves chasing the score.

“It was their opening match, we knew they were going to be hungry. We didn’t underestimate this team, we knew it was going to be complicated. We got the scenario we expected.”

Points Flow Chart

France win +15
Time in lead
73
Mins in lead
5
91%
% Of Game In Lead
6%
27%
Possession Last 10 min
73%
7
Points Last 10 min
0

The tight scoreline throughout the contest was anything but expected for many spectators. France’s win over New Zealand just six days ago furthered their case as a favourite for Rugby World Cup glory, only for Fabien Galthié’s side to nearly hand the South Americans their fourth-ever win at a World Cup.

“There was a false rhythm,” Macalou added. “We fell into the Uruguayan trap. We should have got on top of the game to tire them out.”

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Both scrums struggled and without a sturdy set piece to dictate what areas of the field the game was played, Uruguay stayed in the match.

The 52nd-minute try to fullback Baltazar Amaya was a hard-earned seven points and stunned the Stade Pierre-Mauroy crowd.

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The response from France came through a charge-down, relieving the pressure of the moment just minutes later.

“In rugby, when you think you’ve got something, you lose it in the next match if you don’t take care of the little details,” France head coach Fabien Galthié told reporters.

“We started off with a disciplined performance that enabled us to win the match against New Zealand. Tonight, we put in a poor performance in terms of collective control.”

“We were nervous, desperate to make our mark, score quickly, yet we were always very diligent.

“On the other side, we faced a team who fought hard on the ground, who were very aggressive on the ball carrier, in tackles. We were surprised at first. And then you have doubts, it’s the type of match we call ‘trap matches’.

“You have to put the right ingredients in the right place at the right time  – maybe we got things a bit mixed up.”

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Comments

3 Comments
T
Tim 273 days ago

O’Keffe saved the french at scrum times. How many times did he penalise Uruguay when it was a clear reset or french bringing it down

C
CT 273 days ago

Uruguay can be proud of their performance

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